TOWN OF IXONIA — Even those paying their tax bills say it’s hard not to smile when they walk into the Ixonia Town Hall and are greeted by veteran Clerk Nancy Zastrow.
Zastrow’s good nature and penchant for self-deprecation are among her winning qualities and are, in part, why she was chosen for the Daily Times weekly 10 Questions feature.
“Sure,” Zastrow said when asked if she would participate in our brief interrogation, which is intended to allow the public to get to know their neighbors a little better. “But I guess I have ‘sucker’ written across my forehead!”
Zastrow began her work with the Town of Ixonia in June of 2016. She said the ironic thing is that the town hall used to be Ixonia Bank, where, in June of 1976, after graduation from Oconomowoc High School, Zastrow was hired to work as a secretary.
“To come back here 40 years later and work in the same building is pretty awesome,” she said. “Life does come full circle.”
Zastrow has been in the political arena since 1989, when she ran and won as a write-in for the Town of Watertown Treasurer’s position. Prior to that, she worked part-time at J. Little Photography and helped her husband of 44 years, Dale, on their dairy farm.
Zastrow lives in the Town of Watertown, just over the border from the Town of Ixonia, and she and Dale own land in the Town of Ixonia, where she grew up.
“I lived right next to the fire station on North Street,” she said. “So I have deep roots in Ixonia.”
Zastrow said she has a great life that is, “ ... blessed with three children who are married to wonderful spouses whom I consider my children, also.”
She has six grandchildren, ranging in age from 9-17 — three girls and three boys.
Here are the 10 questions that were fielded by Zastrow:
If you weren’t the town clerk, what would you most likely be doing with your life to make a living?
“My dream job was to be a lawyer.”
What are your top three favorite TV shows of all time and why?
“’M.A.S.H’ — I used to watch this show with my dad. He was a Korean War vet and loved watching this show. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ — I love to dance and wish I could dance like they do. ‘I Love Lucy’ — it is slapstick comedy and even though I have seen every episode, it makes me laugh every time.”
What are your top three movies of all time and why?
“’Pretty Woman’ — I like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in this movie and their dynamics. ‘Titanic’ — it is a movie with history and I love history. ‘Frozen” — My granddaughters loved this movie and they would dance and sing to the songs. We have watched this movie repeatably at our house.”
Who are some of your favorite musicians and why?
“Glen Miller Band — I enjoy the big band music. My parents listened to this music while I was growing up and I enjoyed listening to the big bands. Carrie Underwood, Barbara Mandrell, Josh Groban and Harry Connick Jr., as well.”
Have you read any good books lately that you would recommend?
I like to read Nora Roberts books, but I have been too busy lately to make the time to read. Hopefully, my next vacation I can binge read.”
What three persons in history would you most like to meet and why?
“Abe Lincoln — I have always been intrigued by his political ideas. Martin Luther King — I would like to speak to him about today’s world and all of the sad things that are happening and to hear his prospective. Bobby Kennedy — I was little when he was assassinated, but I remember listening to him speak on TV and I would like to talk with him about politics and the world today.”
What hobbies do you enjoy?
“I love to cook and bake. Dale and I enjoy watching our grandchildren play sports and when I have time, I like to read.”
Why do you like the Ixonia area?
“I grew up in Ixonia and it has changed a lot since I was little. But the small town atmosphere is still here. There have been many times the community has come together to help another family in need, whether it was losing a home to fire, or a severe illness, or helping make a neighbor’s home accessible for a disability. This community comes together for the good of their neighbor. Ixonia is rich in religion with three churches available to residents and Ixonia is deeply rooted in faith. There is so much history in Ixonia and growing up here has helped me appreciate how the town used to be where the farms thrived and the smell of manure came from the pig farms, dairy farms and beef farms in the air and no one complained. You just didn’t open your windows if the wind came from that direction! It is a community where walking down the street you wave and say ‘Hi’ to your neighbor and you respect your neighbor, even if you do not agree with them on everything. It is a great community to live and work in and I am happy to be working here.”
What are your favorite travel destinations?
“Seattle and Florida. My bucket list vacation is Alaska.”
How do you best like to travel — planes, trains or automobiles?
“I love to fly, but I like the train, also.”